C’est où la plage? Narbonne. On y va?

This past weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had during my time in France. As some of you may or may not have seen on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I posted some photos (with captions) from this weekends “adventures” we’ll call them. Well here is the story behind them.

Saturday night we had a tough game on the road against Pamiers, about 45 minutes south of Toulouse. We went down there and took care of business. By no means was this an easy game for us, especially considering our big guy, Jean-Ma, was pretty much dwarfed by their 7 footer. No bother. Jean-Ma did his thing as did our other big guys who stepped up. Magnus and Manu led the way for us and we pulled out a solid 10 point win. It was a real gutsy, team win on the road that is a sure sign of a good team. I was pleased after the game.

So we came back to Toulouse, got some food, had a few drinks at my coach’s apartment and then myself, Manu, Jean-Ma, and our boy, Warren, who played for St. Oren’s last year, went out in Toulouse. It was a standard night out in Toulouse from the bottles of rum to everybody walking past Jean-Ma, stopping, and exclaiming how tall he is. I experienced something like this last year in Ireland with my then, roommate, Will. Except Jean-Ma is a bit taller. Anyway, next thing you know, we leave the club and go get some food. Naturally after a long night out, at approximately 7 or 8am, our choice is to go get kebabs. Works every time. Never fails.

Now it’s about 8am and we’re just finishing our kebabs and we’re just kind of BSing around the street.
-Here we were joking around with a couple guys from England. I actually wish I had a photo of the dude with the purple hat because he LITERALLY looked and sounded exactly like Aldice Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Get Him to the Greek.
IMG_1794IMG_1797As we’re getting into the car we start talking about how warm it is and how awesome it is that the weather is getting nice out in Toulouse. Now before I continue let me say one thing. What most people (Americans) ask me when they hear I’m in the south of France is “How far are you from the beach?” I figured around 2 hours but wasn’t sure and wasn’t sure exactly where the nearest beach was. So back to the story. Me, being the American, decided to ask, “Yo how far are we from the beach?” I learned that we were actually only about an hour and a half away. So then the next question was “Well, where is the beach?” (Hence the title, c’est où la plage? Had to put it in French just for effect even though I speak English with all 3 of these guys). They told me Narbonne was the closest beach. And then we kind of all looked at each other, laughed, and said “Let’s go!” (On y va).

So there we were in the car at about 8am on our way to the beach. Naturally we were on a high from the spontaneous, spur of the moment decision, on zero sleep mind you, and as most people do when they start off on a road trip, we began rocking out in the car.
-Me and Jean-Ma holding it down…we decided since we were going to the beach we didn’t need shirts in the car…..until it got cold that is
IMG_1815About an hour and a half later, we arrived in Narbonne. Stopped at a grocery store, grabbed a couple small cases of beer and a whole bunch of chips and went to the beach. When we got to the beach, it was empty..OBVIOUSLY because it was about 9:45am at this point.
IMG_1817But it was also extremely windy and a little cold. Either way, we had a couple beers to drink and made the trip so we were going to make the most of it.
IMG_1818-Manu had to take a kissy face photo to send to his girlfriend, Violaine, so she wouldn’t kill him for taking off for the beach…..smart move bro.
IMG_1825We hung out at the beach for a while. Eventually, Warren and Jean-Ma went back to the car to pass out for a little while. Then it actually started getting warmer, but we were faced with a decision. Do we stay in Narbonne and make the most of the mediocre weather, do we go back to Toulouse, ORRR do we go to Montpelier? Manu mentioned that his aunt lives in Montpelier. Also Jean-Ma has a bunch of friends out there. Montpelier it was. It was about 45 minutes further in the car, but whatever, we already made it this far and we had the whole day ahead of us.

Off we went to Montpelier. We went to Manu’s aunt’s apartment which was a ton of fun. We spent a few hours there, hanging out on her balcony, drinking rum, and enjoying the much sunnier and warmer weather of Montpelier. Then after a few hours, she offered to take us to the beach. Let’s go.

Now anytime I go to the beach, I absolutely HAVE TO go in the water. Doesn’t matter how cold it is. When I was about 10 and I went to Newfoundland with my family, we were at several beaches. The water was absurdly cold. We went in. The same thing for when we went to Ireland in 1999. Same was true for last year when we had 1 day of nice weather in Galway. I had to jump off Black Rock in Salt Hill. FREEZING.
IMG_0082Same was true for Montpelier. I had a chance to go for a dip in the Mediterranean, you better believe I was going in. However, keep in mind, we took this trip after a night out. We didn’t have shorts or bathing suits. We were in jeans. Whatever. We’ll have to go swimming in our boxers. Which is exactly what we did.
IMG_1843-Jean-Ma’s from Martinique. He only messes with warm water. No chance my man was going in. Respect that.
IMG_1842The last photo I’m going to share with you is of Warren and Manu. They’re literally “frolicking” on the beach in their underwear. I told them this photo pretty much sums up what most Americans probably think of when they think of French guys on the beach. Either way it’s hilarious.
IMG_1839After our little trip to the beach it was back to Manu’s aunt’s apartment. A little chance to relax for about an hour. A little siesta especially for Manu who was driving back. So finally, it was 830pm and we decided it was time to go back to Toulouse, although myself and Warren kept letting it be known that we weren’t opposed to staying there for the whole week. But we all decided it was probably best if we go back. So finally, after not sleeping since Friday night, we were back on the road to Toulouse. Funny enough, we were actually still all full of energy when we got back to Toulouse, probably because of how much fun the last 24 hours had been. I was EXHAUSTED on Monday though.

So that was my weekend in Toulouse. Easily one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in France and one that I’ll never forget. Thanks a lot to Manu, Jean-Ma, and Warren for showing me an awesome time. And thanks a lot to Manu’s aunt, Nathalie, for hosting us. Good times were had by all!!


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